Aquecimento global e política

Uma matéria e um editorial do NYT. Funcionam melhor se lidos em sequencia, primeiro a matéria, sobre o prospecto de extremos (mapa acima) na quantidade de àgua disponível (secas vs cheias) nos Estados Unidos:

The rise in concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from human activities is influencing climate patterns and vegetation across the United States and will significantly disrupt water supplies, agriculture, forestry and ecosystems for decades, a new federal report says.

The changes are unfolding in ways that are likely to produce an uneven national map of harms and benefits, according to the report, released Tuesday and posted online at

The authors of the report and some independent experts said the main value of its projections was the level of detail and the high confidence in some conclusions. That confidence comes in part from the report’s emphasis on the next 25 to 50 years, when shifts in emissions are unlikely to make much of a difference in climate trends.

The report also reflects a recent, significant shift by the Bush administration on climate science. During Mr. Bush’s first term, administration officials worked to play down a national assessment of climate effects conducted mainly during the Clinton administration, but released in 2000.

Agora, o Editorial do NYT, sobre o potencial que o senado americano tem de tomar algumas providências radicais sobre o assunto:

Since that 2003 vote, the arguments for action have only gotten stronger. Mr. Bush has left a deep-seated impression that mandatory cuts in carbon dioxide would bankrupt the country or at the very least severely damage it by driving energy prices through the roof.

Every serious study shows that this is simply not true and that a well-designed, market-based program could yield positive economic gains — greater energy efficiency, technological innovation and reduced reliance on foreign oil. The same studies also make clear that the costs of inaction will dwarf the costs of acting now. The bill’s proponents must make sure that the economics of this debate are framed in a positive way.

The scientific case for action, strong five years ago, is even more persuasive now. Authoritative assessments from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, among other studies, have left little doubt that the world is heating up, that man-made emissions are largely responsible and that swift action is necessary to avoid widespread environmental damage.

Ainda que o discurso da “liderança” americana seja um pouco desconfortável, se funcionar como recurso retórico, acho válida. Claro, não acho que o NYT tenha lá grande poder de influencia nas decisões do senado americano, mas as duas matérias valem para dar um panorama dos últimos oito anos, nas não-iniciativas de prevenção e contenção do aquecimento global; e também para dar um quadro que não precisa ser – embora possa ser – apocalíptico.

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